Lankershim Commercial Corridor Historic District (Primary)
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See below under Related Resources
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North Hollywood - Valley Village Community Plan Area
(Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 2
MID-TOWN NORTH HOLLYWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL
N. HOLLYWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD
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The Lankershim Commercial Corridor Historic District is located in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley. It is a small historic district, containing 20 commercial buildings fronting both sides of Lankershim Boulevard, in the block between Collins Street and Burbank Boulevard. There are 20 buildings within the historic district boundaries; of these, 70% are contributors to the historic district.
The historic district's contributors are one-story Commercial Vernacular buildings constructed between 1936 and 1952. They all front onto Lankershim, are flush with the sidewalk and directly abut each other (but do not appear to share party walls), forming an unbroken street wall. The buildings have commercial storefronts with display windows and fully or partially glazed doors with transoms. Most contributors have stucco cladding with a bulkhead of glazed tile, brick, stone, or concrete block. The roofs are flat with simple stucco parapets featuring hand-painted or projecting blade signage and simple stucco canopies. One building has a side-gabled tiled roof. The northernmost buildings curve around the corner of Lankershim and Collins with storefronts sited in the corner angle of the building.
In general, the buildings on the west side of Lankershim retain higher integrity than those on the east side, which see a higher incidence of parapet additions, wood paneling, and window and door replacements. Non-contributing buildings include a two-story commercial building on the west side of Lankershim and an automobile repair shop on the east side that was constructed in 1980.
Summary of Significance
The Lankershim Commercial Corridor Historic District is significant as an excellent example of a regional commercial corridor in North Hollywood dating to the late 1930s, 40s, and early 50s. Its development reflects the transition of Lankershim to a major automobile route through North Hollywood in the post World War II period. Although initially a Pacific Electric streetcar route, by the 1940s Lankershim was predominantly an auto thoroughfare and the design and construction of this stretch of commercial development reflects this shift. In addition, the small, pedestrian-friendly scale of the buildings within the historic district reflects its close association with the surrounding residential areas that boomed with 1940s residential development. Of the 20 buildings within the historic district boundary approximately 14 buildings (70%) are contributors to the historic district.
The Lankershim Commercial Corridor is a rare, mostly unaltered corridor of commercial development dating from the late 1930s. Minor modifications include signage replacement, installation of security doors and folding gates, and some window and door replacement. Its period of significance is 1936 to 1955, corresponding with its dates of development.
According to the 1927 Lankershim Sanborn Fire Insurance map, the block of Lankershim between Collins and Burbank was subdivided but occupied only by two office buildings and one vacant building, all on the west side. The 1946 Sanborn showed a major change: the block was about 80% developed, dominated by stores with a few restaurants, an auto repair shop, two gas stations, and two dwellings (one of which had an office in the front). The proximity of the historic district to the business center of North Hollywood at Lankershim and Burbank as well as the Lankershim Blvd. Pacific Electric streetcar line and Pacific Electric motor coach line led to a density of commercial buildings along this stretch of Lankershim Blvd. The commercial corridor is also an excellent example of the rapid growth of the San Fernando Valley in the 1930s and 1940s, especially along its major transportation corridors.
External System References
External System References
Commercial Development, 1850-1980
Regional Commercial Centers and Corridors, 1875-1980
Commercial Corridors, 1875-1980
Property type encompasses major east/west, north/south boulevards and avenues throughout Los Angeles, some of which cover the entire city
May have some buildings significant within other themes including Streetcar and Auto-Related Commercial Development and Architecture
Should retain integrity of Location, Feeling, Design and Association from the period of significance
One or more segments of the resource may be significant (may comprise more than one district)
Significant segments may have more than one period of significance
Significant segments may include some buildings constructed outside the period of significance
A significant concentration of commercial, institutional and/or residential buildings located within a neighborhood or village center representing important patterns in commercial development, property types and architecture
Because of variations in the type throughout L.A., specific eligibility standards for each to be identified at time of survey
Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
Significant as representing the early pattern of low scale, auto-centric commercial development along a major San Fernando Valley thoroughfare. Due to storefront alterations, may not retain sufficient integrity for National Register eligibility.
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